Hyperbole — exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

It was an innocent comment, not meant to be taken literally, but here I am trying to explain hyperbole to a young man who takes 99% of things very literally.

It started early this morning with the revelation that Michael has poison ivy. In January. Everywhere. After a not-so-quick trip to the Doctor for shots of steroid and anti-allergy, another everlovin’ long stop at the pharmacy, and a 30 minute drive home my nerves (which are normally pretty regulated and not of Mrs. Bennet proportions) were shot. We stripped Michael’s bed and put on new blankets.

I looked into the laundry room and said, “I’ll never ever get that mountain of laundry done. Ever.” Michael raised his eyebrow, in true Spock fashion, and stated that while it may take me all day, I will certainly prevail and the laundry will get done. After a nice long sigh, I attempted to explain that I was exaggerating, because I felt like I would be doing nothing else but laundry today. He sort of shrugged, apologized for being a bother, and then crashed due to all the medications they gave him.

I started the washer and walked away feeling vaguely uneasy.

I sat here, surrounded by drying racks filled with laundry, trying to determine the root of my uneasiness. Finally it hit me. My reaction to a simple logistical problem made someone I love feel like a problem.

Due to choices I made, not to use commercial laundry soap (or at least, not very often) and not to have a dryer, laundry takes more time. Clothes can hang outside in nice weather, but in the winter and when it is rainy they need to hang indoors. And that means drying racks filled with laundry are clearly visible. When the laundry soap bucket is empty, I have to grate the soap, mix the ingredients, stir the ingredients, and pour them into the bucket.

Yesterday I noticed I only had enough laundry soap for one load. I knew I would have laundry today, but I choose to fill my time with other matters, and so it went from being a normal task to an urgent task.

Perhaps it is just me, but “urgent” makes me cranky and tired. I prefer to operate with normal tasks and priority tasks. Today was a day filled with Urgent.

When Michael wakes up, I’ll take time to talk to him about my attitude. I’ll apologize and make sure he knows that clean laundry is one way I show my family love. It is an act of kindness that I choose to do day in and day out — normally without drama.


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